Origin: Central Europe
Improvement status: Cultivated wild material
Seeds per packet: ~15
BOTANICAL SAMPLE - NOT GERMINATION TESTED
Life cycle: Perennial
Sweet Cicely is an herbaceous perennial in the carrot family, also known as "garden myrrh", used as flavoring and for edible leaves, seeds, and roots. The leaves and especially the unripe seed pods taste very much like licorice (think "Good and Plenty"), while the roots are sweet and delectable. The white, Queen Anne's Lace-like flowers are much beloved by various pollinators and beneficial insects. It is easy to direct seed, and even enjoys shady locations. If you know you have its poisonous lookalike cousin hemlock nearby, be very certain to remove any intruders from your patch of Sweet Cicely that don't look quite right. Our seed comes from Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery in Maine.
GROWING TIPS: Expect slow and erratic germination. Soak seeds in room temperature water for 24 hrs, then move to cold stratification for 30+ days before sowing. Germination may be helped by fluctuating temps, so starting in containers outdoors or direct sowing in fall are good tactics.
Sweet Cicely is widely adaptable growing well in full sun to shade in most soil types. Weed potential is low in Maine, but potentially much higher elsewhere.